Notes from Puzzle Palace

Saturday, May 18, 2024

King's Day Party

Two days after Nigel and Steve left, George and I got in the car and headed for the Netherlands again.  We were given yet another invitation to Wil's King's day party and this time we could attend.  No mad rush to get our Permisso in before the deadline like last year.  

On this trip, I learned my lesson.  No more Formula 1 motels for us.  We decided we want a bit more comfort than a jail cell.  

While I am still American, I've embraced the European lifestyle. 5 hours of driving is more than enough for me.  We make it to Como, just North of Milan so we miss the morning traffic when we take off again.  This also allows us to gas up before Switzerland (it's super expensive there) and have a bit of a lie in in the morning. 

This trip was the usual stop, but this time around we decided to head for Heidelberg instead of Baden Baden on the way up.  We found a place called boarding hotel.  This was nice as it had a kitchen and I was able to make a lovely salmon dinner for us.  Ok.  I really chose it because it was next to a Kaufland.  You see, George loves rye bread and it is difficult to find rye flour here so....when in Germany-buy 24 kilos of it.  That will keep us going for a few months.  We should be good until this time next year.  Oh, and they also have caraway seeds which simply do not exist here.  And beer.  good beer.....Ok. So I did a big shop.  And that in itself is rather strange.  I love the Italian food and have really gotten into eating what is readily available and seasonal and grown locally, but some things just don't exist here.  (Thankfully I've gotten past my cup-a-soup phase.)

From here we headed up to the Netherlands. First stop was to pick up a table from Jan Zoon for the Notre Dame puzzle, then off to the hotel for a long nights rest before Wil's party on Sunday.  

Wil's party was great fun.  I enjoyed the company and the puzzles!  I mean have you ever been in his place?  They are everywhere! The eye doesn't know where to look next.  There are just so many things to see.  Each time I come, I'm amazed.  

Will had a good lineup of people and we mostly all moved out to the garden for more chat and puzzling.  Oskar had a big table of his work set up.  Interesting as always.  Otto Hein's daughter was invited and was selling many of her late father's puzzles. The guys all dug through the boxes and purchased many from her.  George and I waited and once the day was over, we made an offer on the rest of the puzzles.  That in itself is a story.  

There was pizza for lunch and cakes upon arrival.  Wil did a good job of hosting.  There was a bit of rain at one point, but it passed quickly and was really only a few drops.  Around 6 I guess, we all headed to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.  What a lovely thing for Wil to take us all out.  I swore off Chinese after leaving HK, but am now getting used to eating it again in small doses.  The Hot and Sour soup I had was amazing!  I'd do that again.  

Before dinner though, we had a huge packing puzzle.  We had to get all of the beer, flour, puzzle, and table into the van.  Oh, and did I mention the two refrigerators that I carry with us? When we left Jan's we just threw the table in and headed out. It was caddywonk in the extreme and none of the puzzles would fit.  George kept saying we would leave the flour and the beer behind.  Over my dead body I say.  So Steve and I took everything out, we put the table in on an angle and low and behold, everything else fit perfectly!  No beer or flour was left behind.

From here we headed to a hotel for the night.  The next morning we had a trip to a clay 3d printing shop with Oskar and José.  What an amazing place that was!

Not only does it print clay, but it is food grade equipment.  It looks like I may be getting a 3d printer of my own in the not so distant future.  

We really were impressed by their set up.  Not only do they make clay items, but they make their own machines!  

Oskar gave them a gift of his puzzle vase and of course it had to be tried.  

After about 2 hours, we had to take our leave as I had a bath with my name on it.  Off to Baden Baden we went.  It was a short 4 hour drive and when we arrived and parked the car, we headed straight for the baths.  This is heaven to me.  Relaxing for 3 hours in the warm waters and saunas and I was out for the night.  

The next day was a trip across the mountains (through a bit of snow flurries) and back to our favorite hotel in Como.  We set up our usual game of Eurorails and were just beginning to play when a lady decided to join us for the game.  It was interesting to say the least.  We spent more time talking than playing and eventually gave it up and went to dinner together.  

The next morning we woke early and headed home.  I had Ginda Fisher coming the next day and needed to get the house set and groceries bought.  It never ends does it? 

No comments:

Post a Comment